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Short-Form Screenwriting

Starts April 17

6 sessions: Saturdays, April 17-May 22, 9:30am-12pm

Short film has always been an ideal medium for independent screenwriters and filmmakers. For those working with limited resources—or limited experience—making a short can be the most effective and exciting way to tell a story, develop skills, and launch or advance a career. Particularly with the advent of web series providing the opportunity to tell longer stories in installments, there’s never been a better time to start writing your short or episodic script. But where to start?

In Short-Form Screenwriting you’ll take your ideas from concept to logline to shooting script, step-by-step, while covering essential elements of screenwriting like story structure, dialogue, character development, and more. Along the way, we’ll tackle topics like:

  • Not Just a Mini Movie: How short screenplays function differently from feature scripts
  • Character Traits: Creating believable, compelling people on the page
  • Say What?: Crafting dialogue that audiences—and actors—will love
  • How Long is a Short?: Determining the best length and format for your idea
  • Episode to Episode: Structuring and writing a multipart web series
  • Writing is Rewriting: How to tell when your script is done

The course provides the framework in which you’ll explore your ideas and develop your own unique storytelling voice, receiving feedback and support along the way. By the end you’ll have a complete outline or draft of your script as well as the skills you need to keep writing with confidence. No prior writing course experience necessary.

NOTE: Participation in this online course requires that you use the free Zoom cloud-based video conferencing service.For optimal performance it is recommended that you install Zoom on your computer rather than running it from a web browser. We’ll e-mail you a course reminder and Zoom link a few days prior to the first session. Click here for a Zoom tutorial.

Tuition: $165 / $125 low-income

Matthew G. Anderson is a screenwriter and filmmaker whose work has included spec scripts for Hollywood producers, no-budget independent short films, and most things in between. He is probably best known for creating Theater People, one of the most acclaimed and longest running independent web series in the country. An Official Selection at more than two dozen international film festivals, Theater People has received numerous awards including, most recently, Best Screenplay at Russia’s Realist Web Fest. Matthew is the director of former FilmNorth Web 101 student Alan W. Porter’s web series Fallin’ Off, which has been selected for numerous festivals from New Jersey to New Zealand. He is currently in post-production on the pilot for a fifth season of Theater People.  

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.




April 17, 2021 @ 9:30 am
May 22, 2021 @ 12:00 pm
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Matthew G. Anderson
Registration Deadline
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Class count or Info
6 sessions: Saturdays, April 17-May 22, 9:30am-12pm